Chapter 30 of 1 Samuel in itself could be a blockbuster action movie.
Over 600 men return to their home town from a trip to fight in a battle that they were rejected from. As they return they find their town has been burnt to the ground and their families have been taken. All of them are overwhelmed with emotion, from being distraught to seething with anger not just at those who took their families, but their leader who left their families so vulnerable.
Closed in by his own grief and the threat to his life by some of his own men, the leader motivates himself and takes divine counsel. That word instructs him to go get his stuff back. So the mission is on! Not everyone has the energy to make it. One third of the armed forces have to sit it out. Yet despite the reduced numbers, the men are still able to comprehensively defeat the enemy and recover everything taken from them. Everything including their families. Such is the nature of the winnings that they even name the plunder after their all conquering leader.
Despite this victory there is still some discord in his own ranks as some of the fighting force don’t want the exhausted third who didn’t fight to get any of the plunder. The leader sees that sentiment as potentially dangerous and divisive and institutes a ruling that all in the armed forces should equally enjoy the winnings whether they were in the thick of the battle, or looking after the supplies. Not only that but the leader goes on to share some of the winnings with some elders in different areas of his home land.
This blockbuster action thriller highlights the excellence with which David lead his men. Leading in the emotional response to his family being taken; leading in looking to God for direction; leading in looking after all those with him, whether that was in conflict or in rest; leading in battle for victory; leading in a magnanimous approach in the light of the victory. His heroic qualities are seen as much in his care, compassion and generosity to his own as it is in his bravery and commitment to battle for his own.
David is not Superman. He is very mindful of his total dependence on God to do what he needs to do. That dependence and trust in God is what empowers him all the way through this episode to pursue doing the right thing.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden